Running gear

The second key to the new Audi A3's excellent dynamics on the road is its highly effective suspension, with a refined version of the McPherson strut layout at the front and the new four-link independent suspension at the rear.

This running gear is designed for sporty, agile handling allied to high stability, and makes cornering a pleasure whether the car has front-wheel drive or the quattro system. The anti-roll bars are directly attached to the suspension strut in order to minimise body movement around the longitudinal axis. An additional bonus is a standard of ride comfort that would do credit to a car in a much higher category.

16- or 17-inch alloy wheels (the 17-inch wheels are standard in Ambition models) improve performance on the road and also contribute a sporty visual accent. The brake system, with discs of increased diameter, has been matched to the increased power of the engines.

Electro-mechanical steering with the amount of power assistance dependent on road speed is a new feature on the Audi A3. It combines optimum feedback from steering movements with a low level of sensitivity to vibration caused by the road surface, and also consumes much less energy than a conventional power steering system.

     

Equipment and trim

Like its precursor, the new Audi A3 sets the standard with an equipment and trim specification in accordance with its premium status. Three equipment lines - Attraction with its abundant character, Ambition for those who prefer a particularly sporty effect and Ambiente for a highly exclusive style - enable every A3 to be supplied in accordance with the owner's personal preferences.

Standard items on Attraction models include 'Easy Entry' front seats, electric front windows and central locking with radio-operated remote control. The driver's seat has height adjustment as a standard feature and - new to this class - heated rear seats can also be ordered. Another option for greater occupant comfort is a sun screen for the rear window.

The new A3 naturally incorporates such safety features as the Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP), new front seats with crash-active head restraints and the sideguard head-level airbag system.

In addition to the items of equipment available in the various lines, a wide range of other options awaits the A3 owner. Some are designed for added comfort and convenience such as the high-quality audio systems; these can be combined with a BOSE sound system. Electronic climate control is available with separate controls for the driver and front passenger. This and the navigation system, with TV tuner option, raise the A3 to an equipment level such as would normally be expected only in cars in a higher category. Another new feature: the optional CD changer is now in the glove box, for particularly easy access.

The through-loading system with removable ski bag, which can even accommodate two snowboards, and the sensor that switches on the low-beam headlights automatically are further evidence that the second-generation Audi A3 can again claim to be setting new trends in the premium compact car segment.

     

At a glance: The new Audi A3

Three-door body with new, emphatically sporty design and plenty of interior space

Dimensions:

  • length 4,203 mm
  • width 1,765 mm
  • height 1,421 mm
  • wheelbase 2,578 mm
  • Luggage capacity: 350 litres
  • Fuel tank capacity: 55 litres

    Engines:

  • 3.2-litre V6, 177 kW (241 bhp), 320 Nm torque. 0-100 km/h: app 6.7 s; top speed app. 245 km/h (from mid-2003 onwards)
  • 2.0-litre FSI, 110 kW (150 bhp), 200 Nm torque. 0-100 km/h: 9.1 s; top speed 211 km/h
  • 1.6-litre, 75 kW (102 bhp), 148 Nm torque. 0-100 km/h 11.9 s; top speed 185 km/h
  • 2.0-litre TDI, 103 kW (140 bhp), 320 Nm torque. 0-100 km/h: 9.5 s; top speed 207 km/h. New: four-valve cylinder head
  • 1.9-litre TDI, 77 kW (105 bhp), 250 Nm torque. 0-100 km/h 11.4 s; top speed 187 km/h
  • 5- or 6-speed manual gearbox, alternatively 6-speed tiptronic
  • For 3.2 quattro and 2.0 TDI as an optional extra: direct shift gearbox DSG with twin clutches (from mid-2003 onwards)
  • Front-wheel drive; quattro permanent all-wheel drive is standard on the 3.2 and available as an option on the 2.0 TDI

    Running gear:

  • refined version of McPherson front suspension with triangular lower wishbones; new four-link rear suspension for agile, sporty handling
  • New electro-mechanical steering with the degree of power assistance dependent on road speed
  • Either 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels

    Three equipment lines: Attraction, Ambition, Ambiente

  • Standard equipment includes Easy Entry function for the front seats, electric front windows, central locking with radio-operated remote control, new front seats with crash-active head restraints, sideguard head-level airbag system, ESP

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